Zivana Gojanovic

Painter Zivana Gojanovic utilizes the existentialist’s journey to convey highly complex portraits of the human condition. Each painting is compelled from within, furthermore explored through a small scale drawing, and then built up through her distinct layering technique in lush oils, nurturing an overall vision of one’s place in the world.

Hers is a world where abstract fields lay depth for a solitary figure, each strong of their own accord but when combined, presenting a slice of a richly, independent emotional experience. A reflective element combined with personal passion infuses her work so that each piece organically grows outward allowing the artist’s personal relationship with the piece to evolve and morph as much as the viewer’s upon final presentation.

Her unique technique developed over a course of five years was first inspired by a Roman wall that provoked her to cultivate her own way to work with paint as a medium. The language that ensued became a richly, dense and various textured vocabulary of oils where densities, strata and other physical manifestations were evoked, becoming her signature voice.

Gojanovic has stated that her paintings are documents of visual feelings; therefore we can see how the artist’s inner life in her birth country propelled her future career towards an expressionist sort of catharsis allowing the cycles of human life to perpetually unfold upon her canvas. Today, she lives and works in Croatia, where she continues to express both the simplicity and complexity of one’s self onto an ever-present blank slate. 

1000x1000 Artist image for Landing Page



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"I have been called an existential and emotional artist; my paintings grow from passion, tempered by thoughtful execution. This, when balanced by a strong visual esthetic and compelling symbolism, sum up the forces which direct my creative process. I start with a simple small-scale drawing, frequently sketching on any handy scrap of paper, making a visual note to myself. I next work out the details, size, composition, and color palate.

I grow and shape my paintings almost as if nurturing an organic process. Building them layer by layer over a period of weeks, sometimes months. This allows me to connect with, and react to, the painting as it evolves, striving to fill the work with imagery and emotion so that the viewer can relate as strongly as I do. As an artist, I feel it is important to express the presence of human being in my paintings.

I wish to express not only the reality of today's man, but also the point beyond mere existence. I like to think of my paintings as a documents of visual feelings. I prefer sparse forms reduced to symbols, plain colors, and a texture that expresses the hardship of human experience.

One part of my work comes from a reflective element, the other is passion. My hope is to communicate the simplicity as well as the complexity of oneself, while at the same time creating beautiful paintings; not in the sense of proportion, style, or eloquence; but energy, power, and satisfaction in my paintings. I wish to create a home to one who is in search. My technique often relies on the old master process of layering and glazing."

- Zivana Gojanovic

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Video of  "Spotlight" in our Village Court Gallery.


more about this artist


Croatian born artist Zivana Gojanovic used to live and work in the United States for more than two decades, but recently moved back to Croatia to be closer to her remaining family. 
She has been called an existential emotionalist who makes paintings that convey the subtle nuances of man’s enigmatic place within the worldly plane. Gojanovic grows and shapes her paintings almost as if nurturing an organic process, building them layer by layer over a period of weeks, sometimes months. This allows the artist to connect with, and react to, the painting as it evolves, striving to fill the work with imagery and emotion so that the viewer can relate as strongly as she does. Through her unique comp-ositions, meticulous color palettes and old master layering and glazing processes, she manages to capture the energy and power of our solitary human existence.

Gojanovic attended the School of Fine Arts and the University of Art & Design in Croatia. She has been included in exhibits in the United States, Croatia and Japan. As long as she has been painting, the artist has mined the annals of fine literature for inspiration. Some books speak to her on a visual level while others trigger something more abstract, yet in each occurrence something ultimately connects with her core, propelling her to create an outward manifestation of the story within.


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